Do Lemons Need to Be Refrigerated? (How Long Will They Last at Room Temperature?)

Do Lemons Need to Be Refrigerated?

No. Lemons don’t need to be refrigerated because keeping them in high cooling temperatures negatively affects their juiciness. It’s better to store them at room temperature, particularly if plan to use them soon.

Lemons don’t continue to ripen once they have been picked, so you don’t have to worry about them going bad if you plan to use them within a reasonable amount of time.

However, if you wish to prolong their shelf life, then you will need to refrigerate them. Refrigerating lemons can prolong their shelf life by 2-3 weeks.

When refrigerating them, be sure to put them in a sealed bag or container with some water first. This will prevent them from drying out.


How Long Will Lemons Keep at Room Temperature?

In ideal conditions, lemons can stay fresh for about a week at room temperature. Just be sure to keep them away from direct sunlight. You can store them in a fruit basket or on your countertop and they will stay fresh for a reasonable amount of time.

However, if the temperatures are high and storage conditions are not ideal, you can expect them to deteriorate faster and produce less juice.

If kept in direct sunlight, their color will likely change, indicating that they are no longer suitable for consumption.


Why Should You Not Put Lemons in the Fridge?

Even though lemons generally last much longer when you refrigerate them, it’s not recommended because you may run into a few problems when using this storage method.

The first problem is that high cooling temperatures affect their juiciness and hence the lemons may taste drier if stored in the fridge for long. Mold is another common problem that may occur when you refrigerate lemons.

Lemons, and citrus fruits in general, tend to become moldy very quickly when refrigerated. The mold can spread from one piece of fruit to another, which means you will need to examine your refrigerated lemons regularly.


Do Lemons Go Bad Unrefrigerated?

Yes. Lemons eventually go bad no matter whether they are stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature. However, they tend to degrade faster unrefrigerated. Exposure to oxygen causes their flesh to deteriorate when they are stored out of the fridge for long.

Peeled or cut lemons degrade even faster. Generally, whole lemons can last about a week when stored at room temperature. Sliced lemons can go bad within just a few hours. The longer they are kept unrefrigerated, the more they tend to shrivel and lose their flavor.


What’s the Best Way to Store Lemons?

It depends on when you intend to use your lemons. If you plan to use them within a week after purchase, then it’s best to store them at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. However, if you plan to store them for longer than a week, then you will need to refrigerate them.

While there are some concerns when it comes to refrigerating lemons, you can ensure optimal results by taking some precautions when storing them this way.

  1. The first thing you should keep in mind is to store them in a crisping drawer or on a refrigerator shelf.
  2. Avoid using plastic bags as they can promote moisture and condensation, even in the refrigerator.
  3. The proper placement is also important. Be sure not to refrigerate lemons alongside vegetables as they can spoil certain vegetables due to their high acid content.
  4. Finally, using Ziploc bags is recommended when refrigerating lemons as they can help trap the moisture and make them retain their juice longer.

How Do You Keep Lemons Fresh for 3 Months?

For long-term storage, there is a simple method you can follow. It involves freezing the lemon wedges in an ice cube tray. For this particular method, you will need an ice cube tray, lemon slices, and water.

Follow these instructions:

  1. Put one or two lemon slices in each section of the ice cube tray.
  2. Fill water in each section of the tray.
  3. Next, place the tray in the freezer to keep the lemons fresh.

With this method, you can keep lemons fresh for up to 3 months. When it’s time to use them, simply take out a cube with lemon slices from the tray and defrost it.


Can You Leave a Cut Lemon Out Overnight?

No. Cut lemons degrade very quickly when left at room temperature. They can go bad within just a few hours. If left at room temperature for long, the cut lemons will dry out and will have a tough rind and less juice. That’s why it is recommended to use the lemons immediately if you cut them.

If you wish to store them, keep them in the fridge. For optimal results, store the fresh-cut lemons in a sealed container or wrap them with a paper towel and then put them in the refrigerator.

Make sure to avoid exposure to air as this will dry the lemons out. Alternatively, you can also put them in a pitcher to create lemon-infused water but this method is generally less preferred.


In summary, Do lemons go bad? They can, but they don’t have to. Lemons do not need to be refrigerated but instead should be stored in a cool dry place.

When it comes to refrigerating lemons and storing them at room temperature, there are a few methods you should try in order to make sure they last as long as possible.

Hopefully, this goes without saying, but when it comes to any type of food preservation, always use the freshest ingredients possible. That way there’s nothing for bacteria to feed off of and you’ll never have to worry about food poisoning.

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